Census results on gay couples

by CynthiaYockey on October 9, 2011

Dear libertarian Bruce Majors at Big Homo posted about a Washington Post piece in August on the release of Census Bureau results on the number of gay couples in Maryland and Virginia (the results on D.C. came out a week later). I recommend clicking to read the whole thing, but here’s a sample:

[Washington Post, Aug. 10, 2011, “Census shows surge in gay couples in D.C. area; officials cite more honesty“] The number of people who identify themselves as part of a same-sex couple has soared over the past decade in what demographers say is the product of an aggressive outreach effort by the Census Bureau and growing cultural acceptance.

Census figures released Thursday show 17,000 same-sex couples live in Maryland, a 51 percent increase over a decade ago. That accounts for 1.5 percent of couples in the state, including married couples and heterosexual partners living together.

In Virginia, the census counted 20,500 same-sex couples, a 49 percent increase that amounts to 1.2 percent of couples in the state.


Del. Michael J. Hough (R-Frederick) said the numbers reinforce one of the arguments he and other opponents of same-sex marriage have been making.

“We’re talking about radically redefining marriage for what is a very, very small subset,” he said.

My reaction to Del. Hough is that since marriage equality won’t change his own marriage, or anyone else’s, or force any religion to change its definition of marriage, and the subset is small, then he is making the argument in favor of marriage equality, not against it. Marriage equality defined by the state is required to ensure religious freedom — which is why religions are trying to grab the power to be the sole definers of marriage from the state. Plus, I’m pretty sure that if you paired any other minority or religious group with numbers like “1.5 percent,” Del. Hough would be consumed with zeal to protect their rights from threats by a majority to force them into second-class citizenship because they are “a very, very small subset.” And, just to remind you, when the legislature has been co-opted into violating the rights of a minority, thanks to our system of balance of powers, it is the judicial branch that steps in. When it does, it is doing a job it was created to do, not legislating from the bench.

There’s more:

State Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Montgomery), an openly gay man raising two children with his partner, said the statistics show how many people might choose to marry if it becomes legal.

“It demonstrates that there are a significant number of same-gender families in our state, and we are everywhere in the state,” he said. “It also shows that in the end, we’re not talking about a lot of people. The other side’s predictions of doom and gloom are oversized.”

Del. Heather R. Mizeur (D-Montgomery), a gay lawmaker who has a wife, said the census numbers show the changing face of what is now considered family.

“There are 9,000 Maryland children that have two moms or two dads, that are looking to the General Assembly and saying, ‘Protect my family, like everyone else’s,’ ” she said.

By the way, not only do same-sex couples need to carry healthcare powers-of-attorney on them at all time — which I did for my late life partner, who was quadriplegic the last 10 years of her life due to MS — but also they need to have proof of their authority to care for and transport their same-sex spouse’s biological child. Without it, if they are stopped by the police for so much as a burned-out tail light, they will have to wait at the police station until the biological parent can verify they were lawfully accompanying the child.

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Peter October 10, 2011 at 6:25 am

 You know I have a few reservations about gay marriage, not that I believe it would do anything to mine, but because of a few details that no one seems to have thought through.

 As I have mentioned to you before, when I first hired on after my hitch in the sevice was over, we had a few lifelong bachelors who shared housing “to save money” in my rural county. We seldom had need to enter their homes and, when we did, say after a  theft, I was told to never look to see how many beds were in use.

 I also, since I was a rookie, had to be involved when the outdoor anonymous sex got out of hand. I was young and innocent and so I was surprised at how many of those men were married. My innocence didn’t last long.

 My concern over gay marriage has much to do with the way so many gay men seem to fall in love and move in at the drop of a hat, then out of love and fighting over infidelity a month later. I’m not sure that marriage would change that.

 Here’s my deal…tow guys are sharing a house or apartment. They get into a fight, police get called. We show up, two guys fighting, no serious injuries, we seperate them and if we can calm them down, we send one out to a motel for a couple of days, read them both the riot act and let them know of all the criminal charges they could have been charged with as well as a few dire threats if we have to come back. the peace is restored, we go on to other, more pressing duties or maybe a coffee break.

 Enter gay marriage. Thie same two guys get into the same fight. We show up only now it’s not a fight, it’s DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. An arrest is mandatory. Since it’s two guys and we’re not trained very well in the finer points of gay relationships we’ll probably hook ’em both up and take them in.  Very few people are ever found “not guilty” in a domestic violence case so one or both will all of a sudden have a whole slew of problems. There suddenly are a lot of profressional avenues close. Someone with even a misdemeanor DV conviction can never own a gun. Etc, etc.

 In addition, I’m not at all sure that our court system can handle the added load, we heteros seem to be doing a pretty good job of overloading the divorce courts already, whatis going to happen with the added load of teh gheys? I’m no expert, I’m a country boy by choice but I do know that a rather large percentage of gay relationships are rather volatile.  What will happen in divorce court. For that matter, what will happen while waiting for divorce. A simple divorce in some states can take well over a year. What happens with credit and taxes when there is a still married, vindictive spouse out there?

 Well, this is too durned long already. All I know is with the way our marriage laws are, gays should think long and hard about taking that step. It’s got the chance to hurt a lot of people.

Cynthia Yockey October 10, 2011 at 5:57 pm

@ORLibertyGal just posted a quote from C.S. Lewis that is the most apt reply, “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.” Everyone else, including illegal aliens, is welcome to use the system and they expect the system to grow to meet their needs, so there’s no reason to say it can’t expand to serve gays, too, if we ever become first-class citizens with full rights, including marriage equality. Think of it as creating jobs.

Gays are deliberately tossed out of every social institution that supports individual maturity and social stability — their own families, religions and government are against them. Gays all used to have to be closeted to have careers — many still do. As you note, quite a lot of gay men married to get the perks of straight life and then led double lives, settling for sex because they were barred from building a life with a same-sex partner whom they also would have loved. I believe it was the pressure cooker of the closet that made those fights, and even murders, that you saw as a sheriff’s deputy so vicious. Also, it is so hard to find a same-sex partner, even now, that it is quite true that gays will move in with one another too quickly. There’s even a joke for this phenomenon: “What do lesbians bring on a second date? A U-Haul.”

What equality, including marriage equality, will give to lesbians and gays is equal opportunity to access to the socializing structures of society — although, with regard to religion, I want to remind you that the modern gay rights movement began in October 1968 with the founding of the Metropolitan Community Church. We are so self-reliant that we will make our own religions, if we need them, so we don’t need to change anyone else’s.

Frankly, I think one of the reasons that gays and lesbians may struggle in relationships is that we could not date openly in high school under the support and supervision of our families, friends and religions. This means that we missed age-appropriate milestones of development of the capacity to form and keep romantic relationships. We didn’t get to start with trainer wheels, so to speak, as our straight peers could. We had to wait until we were away from home and over 18 and then jump straight into a world of much older adults — still with little or no support from family and friends. I figured out I was a lesbian when I was 13 in 1965 and I promise you, the closet is a devastating place.

By the way, I believe one of the reasons progressives don’t understand the conservative concepts of liberty and our rejection of the nanny state is that social conservatives reject liberty and impose a moral nanny state by using government to force everyone to obey the beliefs of their (the socon’s) religion. Both the progressive and the social conservative covet the coercive powers of government to force others to live by the code they want to impose. It becomes hard to distinguish between the two since they agree on the means — force — and differ only about the ends.

You always give me another perspective, Peter, and I’m very glad you share these experiences and concerns with me. I want you to know that whether or not we agree, I love you with all my heart and treasure you as a friend.

Anonymous October 11, 2011 at 7:08 pm

 Cyn, just because I want everyone, including me, to think very carefully about this whole issue does not mean I do not agree that every citizen should have complete equality under the law.

 Way back when I was still being trained I went to the home of two of our “confirmed bachelors” with the “old” Deputy who was training me He was really, really old, must have been forty!).  Seems those two men always went to the big Friday night fish fry at one of our local eateries. They came home and half their stuff was gone.  I started to write down there seemed to be only one bedroom in use and my partner gave me a subtle whack to keep it out of the report. Later, in the car, I got told all about “keeping the reports simple”. Funny thing, I got invited to the funeral of one of those guys some twenty-five years later, they were still together. I’m no expert, by any means, but I somehow suspect that gays and lesbians might have an easier time out in rural America than they do in the big cities. At least once they become couples. Of course, I’m prejudiced, I think everyone is better off where we do not know, nor care, what someone does inside their home. It comes, I think, of not being able to hear their stereos and teevees.

 I think universal , what is it this week GLBT?, acceptance is going to be hard to come by. Mainly because in today’s smaller families Parents that want to see grandkids are going to have a hard time coming to terms. I mean if one of our four had come out I suspect we’d have tossed and turned and prayed hard for a few days and then gone about our business of loving our children.  The parents with one child???? And I sure don’t know what to think about those nice young kids raised in , say, Mormon or one of those speak in tongues, snake handling branches of Christianity. Please don’t ask me to explain why they forget the greatest commandment, love. Not that I’m perfect in that regard, I figure that about a quarter of the world’s populace needs to be taken into the alley and whomped with riot sticks a few times.

 You’re probably right about the young kids not getting training at home during dating  as teens. Te bad news is that not nearly enough of any kids get that training anymore. Maybe half of all kids, then add the troubles of the gay kids being a minority, trying to find that minority.

 I don’t know what to do about those throwaway kids.  I don’t trust the government and the private groups seem to have trouble with the chickenhawks worming their way in. See the recent troubles in the Catholic Church.

 The older I get the more I want to weep for humanity. Ah, nobody elected me king of the world. Too bad, huh?

 You know that I just happened on this site and stayed because of that list of blog headlines on the sidebar, right?  and now, here I am, spending more time writing here, about issues I know little about, than on my own blog, writing about stuff I do know something. Ah, well, say hi to your dad from me.

Zendodeb October 20, 2011 at 10:35 am

Peter, it isn’t as if all straight men are racing to get to the alter. Or that once they get there, they stay married forever.

And comparing what gays were forced to do – when any gay relationship was criminal – with what straights were doing is a bit disingenuous. What would you do if you were faced with loss of job, social ostracism and even a night in jail for loving your wife? You might develop a few odd ticks in your personality. (And yes jail. Look up what happened to folks regularly at places like the Stonewall Inn when the cops decided it was time to give the queers what for.)

The question is, how big does a minority have to be, before persecution is not allowed?

Zendodeb October 20, 2011 at 10:40 am

And Peter, if you get called to the apartment of 2 gay men, who are living together, over a fight, even without gay marriage, IT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

Just because you refuse to see it that way, doesn’t make it so.

If you went to a straight-couple’s home – not married, living together  – over a fight, what would you do?

I realize some states only recognize domestic violence in the presence of a marriage license, but that is more 19th century than 21st century. Doesn’t make it true.

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